Seattle no longer lies entirely in the long dark shadow of Bill Gates’ once-crushing Death Star. Hobbled by a host of events–antitrust suits, the departure of Gates as CEO, the rise of the Internet, the debacle of Vista–Microsoft has lost its dominance, even in its own backyard. There remain plenty of “Microsoft millionaires,” but Seattle’s startup scene today is more diverse, finding fresh roots in Amazon, born in the era of the Internet, or even Starbucks, which has arguably a stronger brand than Microsoft. As Andy Sack, a general partner in the Founders Co-op, a seed stage investment fund in Seattle, notes, “Microsoft does not hire entrepreneurs”–it hires star engineers and professional managers, not the kind of idea-driven individuals that start companies like Wetpaint, Zillow or 43 Things.
The full article is worth a read and if you’re a Steve Nash fan check out Fast Company’s piece on his business ventures in the February issue as well.